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President Joe Biden proposed U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court on Feb. 25th.
Biden and Jackson were scheduled to speak at the White House at 2 p.m. ET on Friday.
“Judge Jackson is an exceptionally qualified nominee as well as an historic nominee, and the Senate should move forward with a fair and timely hearing and confirmation,” said The White House.
President Biden told Americans that he would select a Black woman if a vacancy happened during his presidential campaign while he was in office. According to CNN, he verified that he is still dedicated to that vow.
If confirmed, Jackson will be the first African-American woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She would also be the court’s second-youngest justice and the first since Thurgood Marshall to have substantial experience as a defense lawyer.
Jackson, according to Biden, “is one of our country’s greatest legal brains and will be an excellent Justice.”
The 51-year-old, born in the nation’s capital and raised in Miami, clerked for Breyer on the Supreme Court during the 1999-2000 term. She is a Harvard College and Harvard Law School graduate.
She served as a public defender throughout her legal career, which separates her from most federal judges also considered for the nomination. She formerly served as vice-chair of the United States Sentencing Commission, where she worked to reduce sentencing disparities as part of the agency’s work defining federal criminal sentencing standards.
Out of those considered for the nomination, Jackson fulfills Biden’s promise of appointing a jurist with “extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity” traits.
“Our process is going to be rigorous. I will select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency,” Biden stated.
The President continued.
“While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one: the person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity. And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.”
Biden committed during a debate two years ago, after being prompted by South Carolina congressman Jim Clyburn ahead of his state’s primary. Days later, thanks to Clyburn’s support, Biden won a landslide victory in the South Carolina primary, kicking off a streak of victories that led to his nomination and, eventually, the White House.
Despite similar assurances from Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and Trump, the promise split Republican senators, with some arguing that race or gender should not play a role in the selection process.
Congratulations to Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson!